Yoga to Lose Fat
There are countless weight loss success stories from those who have taken up a consistent and serious yoga practice. So there is little doubt that yoga is an effective weight loss solution and that yoga helps burn calories and reduce fat. The reason though that yoga is so good for helping you lose weight and keep it off, is not simply because of the physical workout that a yoga practice obviously provides. It is also due to the many other benefits and powers of yoga, such as helping you find positivity, joy, confidence, self-love, peace and emotional balance, while also helping you detox, heal and move towards a more wholesome and healthier way of life. All this combined really helps with the problem of excess weight and obesity.
These emotional, spiritual and mental benefits though do not mean that yoga cannot give you one mean workout. Ask anyone who has taken a class with my teacher, Ravi Singh, and you will know how rigorous a yoga class can be :-).
There are many excellent yoga routines and targeted exercises which are geared towards helping you burn calories and lose weight. I have provided many such sets on the website and below you will find a list of them. Today though I want to detail another such calorie burning yoga exercise for you.
This exercise, called Yoga March, along with being a calorie burner, is also an excellent exercise for starting your yoga practice and getting warmed up. Often one thinks that stretching is the best way to warm-up, but one should keep in mind that stretching cold muscles and tendons often puts one at risk for strains and tears. So, although light stretching is ok to do as a start-up, it is better still to warm-up the entire body with some light aerobic exercise before doing vigorous stretching. Yoga March fits this bill perfectly.
Yoga March will not only get your blood pumping, it will also get your entire system ready for more vigorous yoga, while at the same time getting you started on your calorie burning routine right away. Below you will find details of how to practice Yoga March along with illustrations, variations, step-by-step instructions, benefits and practice tips.
More Calorie Burning Yoga Sets and Poses:
As mentioned above here are links to other excellent yoga workouts and exercises for burning calories and losing weight. In addition, you will find links to the Free Online Hatha Yoga Galleries here and the Kundalini Yoga Exercises collection here. Both these resources have many more yoga poses and exercises which you will find useful in developing your personal yoga practice.
For Yoga and Meditation Certification Course Students:
For students enrolled in the Yoga Teacher’s Training and Meditation Certification Program, I suggest to mix this exercise into your classes as a warm-up from time to time. There are of course many excellent yoga sets for warming up, but this exercise is as good as any of them. If you are teaching a targeted weight loss or calorie burning class, then certainly do include this exercise into the routine. It is an exercise which almost everyone can do and which can be modified according to each student’s fitness level and proficiency.
Yoga March Illustrations
A. How to do Yoga March:
- Stand nice and tall, then bring your arms behind your lower back and interlace your fingers. Palms are facing each other.
Next pull your hands away from your lower back to create stretch in your arms and shoulders as shown in illustration #1 above.
- Now begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise and being to march in place. Your head should be straight looking forward and try to bring your knees up high as your march in place.
- The higher and faster you march the more calories you will expend and the more difficult the exercise will be. Also doing Breath of Fire in conjunction with the marching will increase the intensity of this exercise.
- There are many ways to modify this exercise to suit your level. You can switch to Long Deep Breathing if Breath of Fire is too much. You can also release your arms and have them move as if you were walking or jogging. You can also simply walk in place if you get winded and then begin marching once you recover.
- Start with 1 Minute and build up from there to 5 minutes or more.
C. Yoga March Benefits:
- Helps to strengthen your hearth and cardiovascular system.
- Helps your respiratory and circulatory systems.
- Helps to burn calories and promotes weight loss.
- Good exercise for warming up prior to deep stretching or vigorous yoga.
- Helps to strengthen your calves and legs.
- Helps to stretch and open up your shoulders, arms and chest.
D. Practice Tips for Yoga March:
- Do interval training in order to develop your fitness and stamina. This means that you can do 1 minute vigorous marching, followed by 30 seconds walking and then 1 minute high intensity again. This kind of training is very good for developing your fitness rapidly.
- Keep in mind that in addition to yoga exercises, yogic breathing is also a proven method for weight loss. 2 good pranayama techniques for weight loss are Kapalbhati and Bhastrika.
- If you are looking for a combined approach for burning calories, reducing fat and losing weight, you will want to explore the Free Online Weight Loss Program here.
- Teachers if you are requesting the students do this exercise with their eyes closed, be aware they will end up all over the place, so ensure there are no unwanted collisions :-).
PS: If you enjoy this yoga exercise, please do share it with your friends. I appreciate your support.